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Regular version of the site

Article

Sources of long run economic growth in Russia before and after the global financial crisis

Russian Journal of Economics. 2017. Vol. 3. No. 4. P. 348-365.

   Although productivity decline in the global economy was observed before 2008, the global financial crisis of 2008 stimulated study of its source. In this context, recent literature mentions inefficient investments in machinery, human capital, and organizational processes. This can include skill mismatch and the lack of technology diffusion from advanced to emerging industries and firms. To what extent is this global view helpful in understanding recent productivity decline in the Russian economy? The present study reports that at least some of these sources can be observed in Russia as well. Using conventional industry growth accounting, it compares pre- and post-crisis sources of growth for the Russian economy. Specifically, it presents aggregate labor productivity growth as the sum of capital intensity and total factor productivity (TFP) growth in industries, and the contribution of labor reallocation between industries. It shows that the stagnation of 2008–2014 is more the result of the TFP decline and the deterioration of the allocation of labor than the lack of capital input. Moreover, the TFP decline started in Russia a few years before the crisis, as it did in major global economies, such as the United States, OECD countries, China, and Brazil. At the same time, relatively stable capital intensity made the Russian pattern to some degree similar to resource abundant Australia and Canada. Furthermore, the contribution of information and communications technology capital to labor productivity growth in Russia declined after 2008, which could have also hampered technology diffusion. Finally, the structure of the flow of capital services in Russia changed after 2008. Before the crisis, the contribution of machinery and equipment dominated, while after the crisis, construction provided the lion's share of capital input.